Family speaks out after boy, 17, registers .21 BAC - KMSP-TV

Family speaks out after boy, 17, registers .21 BAC following grad party

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MILACA, Minn. (KMSP) -

The mother and grandmother of a teen who nearly lost his life after drinking heavily at a graduation party say they've heard the Mille Lacs county attorney allowed teens to drink at her home.

Family members told FOX 9 News the 17-year-old boy drank so much, he blacked out and was found outside of the home of Mille Lacs County Attorney's Jan Jude.

"If it would've been at our house, we probably would be in jail right now," said Kim Hamilton, the teen's mother.

Hamilton told FOX 9 News she didn't even know her son was at a graduation party over Memorial Day weekend. The last time she checked, he was with relatives. So, when her son's friends showed up at her door at 1 a.m. on May 27 she was shocked.

"Very scared and worried -- just overwhelmed," recalled Hamilton.

Hamilton said she ran outside to find her son's body hanging out of his friend's car and he was throwing up. Her son later admitted to drinking half of a 1.75-liter bottle of vodka, or nearly 30 shots.

"My son had literally minutes from what the hospital told us," Hamilton told FOX 9 News as she fought back tears.

Hamilton immediately called 911, and an ambulance rushed him to Fairview Medical Center in Princeton, Minn. After being admitted with a blood-alcohol content of .21, the teen was unresponsive for 6 hours and spent most of the night on oxygen.

"Thank God his two friends brought him home because if they wouldn't have, he would've been dead," the teen's grandmother, who asked to only be identified as Ann, told FOX 9 News.

The two women told FOX 9 News they do not believe the boy would have gotten help because his friends told them other partygoers laughed when they suggested seeking medical help.

"They asked for help at the party and it was not received," Hamilton said.

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office confirmed the graduation party was held near the Rum River on the property belonging to the county attorney and a tribal police officer -- and Hamilton said that's the last place any underage drinking should be tolerated.

Although Mille Lacs County Attorney Jan Jude acknowledged a party for her daughter was held at the home, she denies any knowledge of teens drinking alcohol during the celebration.

Jude declined to speak to FOX 9 News on camera, but in a written statement she wrote:

"It has been reported that a juvenile exhibiting signs of alcohol consumption was on my property after a graduation party for my daughter. There have also been anonymous reports of other minors claiming to have consumed alcohol on my property. I had no knowledge of any of these events occurring on my property until these reports were brought to my attention and would not have tolerated it had I known. It is my understanding that an independent investigation has been initiated. It is my hope that this investigation will reveal all of the facts about what actually occurred, and perhaps more importantly, who provided alcohol to any minors who consumed alcohol on that date. I completely support the investigation and will fully cooperate."

Yet, Hamilton and the teen's grandmother say they have reason to be skeptical.

"From what I hear, it was announced from her daughter that yes, they could drink -- they just weren't supposed to drink and drive," Hamilton said.

"If it's a graduation party, usually you are looking around and talking to people," added Ann.

According to a listing on the Mothers Against Drunk Driving website, there is no social host ordinance in Mille Lacs County that would hold the host criminally accountable when underage drinking takes place.

This case is now in the Anoka County Sheriff's hands due to the obvious conflict of interest.

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